Hearing my voice is one of the most unnerving things I can think of. It's just too different from how it sounds in my head, so each time I listen to me speaking in a video or on tape, I shudder and ask myself, 'Is that me? Do I really sound like a retarded teenager after a sixpack of Bud!?' I'm sure the overwhelming majority of people feel the same emotions when it comes to hearing their own voice, and you just can't help it.
Yet, the uneasiness, inevitably growing upon me when listening to my own voice, is usually accompanied by a faint memory from my childhood. Back in the early 1990-s, I was totally into the cop shows and action films, watching them day and night and admiring the brave lawpeople prevailing over unscrupulous villains and deranged maniacs. The maniacs were definitely the coolest bad guys in these shows: they were elusive and mysterious, they ran around with a delirious smile and knives as big as me at the time, and more than often they stalked their victims-to-be, giving them enigmatic phone calls in a distorted voice.
Wait... I don't like the way my own voice sounds, right? So why not restore my psychological balance with the good old voice changing? I mean, if I can distort my voice beyond recognition, maybe it will help me put up with it and accept it as it is? Of course, the idea of restoring my peace of mind with the method so popular among cop show psychos is not free of internal contradictions, but it sounded crazy enough to give it a shot.
I searched for and installed the three most popular voice changers on SI (Voice Changer, MorphVOX Pro, and Voice Changer Diamond). The results were sad. At some point, I thought that none of the three programs would work fine, but it turned out my fears were unfounded. Well, almost unfounded.
This program is the easiest one to review. I don't even know whether it works, because it just doesn't work the way I expected it to work.
In fact, the only way to change your voice with Voice Changer is to use a pre-recorded file. I spent about five minutes trying to find any hints that I can apply sound effects to the microphone output directly, which would allow me to adjust their settings before recording the final product. All in vain.
I realize that working with pre-recorded files is not that different from applying the effects in real time, but for some reason it is too cumbersome for me to record my voice first and change it later. In other words, Voice Changer may be a totally cool program with the magnificent selection of three voice parameters to change (speed, pitch, timbre), but I still think it sucks because of that pre-recording constraint.
Actually, I tried to use it anyway. I downloaded a piece of dialogue between Kurtz and Willard from Apocalypse Now ('You are an assassin, blah-blah') and attempted to process it with Voice Changer. That's what I got to see:
Still, if you are not against pre-recording your voice to change it and are absolutely sure your files fulfill all the criteria by Voice Changer, it can turn out to be a cool program. Hopefully.
Download Voice Changer
Voice Changer Diamond
Voice Changer Diamond can prove even to a baby that the skeuomorphic design is evil. The program follows the traditional design patterns, imitating traditional mixing consoles. What works great in real life, is a disaster when implemented in software: the faders are tiny and difficult to click at, the lack of help hints will make the learning curve significantly steeper, and last but not least it looks just awful.
To crown it all, the faders didn't move an inch, no matter how hard I tried to grab them with the mouse pointer. I don't think it's the developer's fault. More probably, there are some compatibility problems with Windows 8 or something along these lines. On the other hand, I don't really care why the interface of Voice Changer Diamond doesn't work on my desktop; at the end of the day, you wouldn't care why your car has broken down if you're hopelessly late to work.
Download Voice Changer Diamond
This software could become the Holy Grail among the cop show psychos but for one huge drawback: its full version will cost you $39.95. For one thing, parting with forty bucks for a voice changing program doesn't comply with my idea of a deal. For another thing, a professional audio editor with voice changing capabilities would certainly come at a much higher price, so the price tag leaves some room for thinking.
From the technical point of view, MoprhVOX Pro has definitely made a mistake by not including MP3 to the output formats. At the same time, I must admit MorphVox Pro is very close to how I imagine a perfect voice changer. It's got a relatively easy-to-use interface, not overwhelming you with unnecessary information. It supports both editing of pre-recorded voice samples and real-time inout processing. Even though the number of audio effects available in the basic version of MorphVox Pro is rather modest, you can increase it by installing add-ons like Spooky Sounds, Fantasy Voice Pack or Personality Voices.
My Voice Sample Processed in MorphVOX Pro
In any case, MorphVOX Pro was not that bad in my test. Frankly speaking, it practically saved the day by merely working. In absence of any better alternative, I would strongly recommend all wannabe-maniacs to pay close attention to it. Or they will regret it.
Download MorphVOX Pro